This was the first 4K swim since some time in 2006 when stuff happened that had me extremely upset. I attacked the swim that day and by the time I stopped thinking about it I was past 3 K and hadn't even noticed. So I went to 4 just to round it off to an even number. That was all in one go, no stops. My shoulders hurt the next day since that was about double my usual swim then.
Today was a warmup, then 6x500 of various stuff, and a cool down. It was fun, once I was past the shower. I would swear in court there is a decaying mammal down one of the drains it smells that disgusting. I've got to remember to put the nose clips on BEFORE showering. The new googles are perfect; it's so nice to be able to see again. One of the sets was a straight 500 m freestyle at 80% effort - 9:10. That's about right.
A couple of the swimmers in the lanes beside me were trying to keep up periodically, producing lots of splashing, bubbles, and waves, but not much speed. I was a bit nervous when a girl in a mostly blue bikini joined my lane and asked to split it with me rather than going in circles. That's good. I was a bit surprised at how fast she swam, since normally the serious swimmers wear a one piece. It was fun to go whooshing past people. I was in the water about an hour and 20 minutes, maybe a bit more.
Yesterdays ride was postponed till today, which is as nice as could be asked for. I was out and gone as soon as I could after getting home from work. Bear with me here. I've been getting prepped for the big ride on Sunday, so my head is partly in that space. I'm also a bit taken with my right knee lately. It's been a bit creaky and sore and sometimes tempermental about what it likes or not.
So I started off on the ride feeling pretty good. I got down to 22X in 20 minutes which is about normal. Knee is feeling a bit, something. I don't know how to describe it. Not painful, not sore, not tired. But not strong and smooth either. It's almost like the joint felt a bit rusty and didn't want to move or work very hard.
Like I said, I was a bit in the headspace for a long and steady ride, which isn't going to work on RtN. Too many hills. By the top of the first one I was pretty sure I wasn't going to make 3 hours. So I chugged along, trying to be smooth. It's hard to be smooth going up a steep hill pedaling slowly in your easiest gear. Lots of places I was 5 Kph slower than my last ride. I was beginning to get down on myself about it, feeling bad about the ride, and how slow I was, and how that could be after all my training. Which makes things even slower.
The positive about the ride is that I got to the bottom of the road in 1:11, and at first I felt bad about that. That's slow, even though I had a bit of a wind helping me, and I knew it would be slower going the other way. That first hill was a slog. I was in the easiest gear right from the start. Head down. Hands on the drops. Going about 7Kph. Trying not to stress the knee. Trying to spin. Then I got to thinking about what I was thinking about. I gave my rump a good kick, which is hard when you're riding.
I ate a bit more, and had a good slug of energy drink. Then I starting thinking about the positives of the ride. It was a perfect afternoon for a ride. I was spinning fairly well, and my knee was still coping. Oddly enough, as I pushed a bit harder, it felt better. That time was with me not breaking a sweat and barely getting my heart rate into triple digits. Going only a little bit faster used to be practically race pace. I was doing this ride on tired legs, since right now I'm more active than at any other time in my life, including being a teenager.
I thought about that number. You know, the one I mention every now and then. It was 221. That's the lowest it's been since some time in the very early 80's, when I had a physically demanding job and I had to eat my own cooking, such as it was.
Of course, it's not as easy as writing about it makes it look. My head was going around and around. I was an emotional rollercoaster to match the hills. I realized I wasn't really committed to this ride, I was just out putting in time. It's probably still good for me in the long run, but I'm tired enough that it's hard to be objective. I think I'm officially at the Irontard stage. Missy has the best explanation.
The whole ride ended up being 2.5 hrs. For a while I was entertaining the idea of doing the planned 70 minute run after the ride. Then I de-entertained it. My goals are to get to the start line healthy and ready for a big day. Yes I need to train hard, but most of all I need to train smart. This is a 50+ year old bod after all. It's done really well considering how fat and out of shape I was, but I'd feel really stupid if I pushed myself too hard trying to gain a little bit more fitness and injured myself now. It's going to be a fine balancing act to push myself harder and further than I've ever gone during this last bit of build, and yet know when to back off.